Valtteri Bottas gives verdict on George Russell beating Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

George Russell is on-track to be the first team-mate since Nico Rosberg in 2016 to finish above Sir Lewis Hamilton in the World Championship.

George Russell has performed remarkably well since joining the Mercedes F1 Team, despite the team’s frustrating first half of the season.

Mercedes have struggled with porpoising for the majority of the year so far; however, until the British Grand Prix, Russell was the only driver on the grid to have finished every race in the top five.

The former Williams driver saw his streak end at Silverstone, after being involved in Guanyu Zhou’s death-defying crash on the opening lap.

He got back to his usual ways at the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, where he claimed fourth-place in yet another top five finish.

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Half-way through the season, he currently sits fifth in the Drivers’ Championship on 128 points, 19 points more than his more-experienced team-mate.

Sir Lewis Hamilton is sixth in the standings on 109 points; however, after a tough start to the year, the seven-time World Champion has finished third in the last three races.

Russell has been praised by teams and drivers throughout the paddock for the brilliant job he’s doing at the German team; unbelievablely, the man he replaced has added his thoughts on Russell’s “good job”.

“I think George has done great, as expected,” Valtteri Bottas told reporters.

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“Especially as I know myself how tricky it is to beat Lewis, so yeah, he’s been doing a good job.”

Bottas and Russell endured somewhat of a rivalry in 2020 and 2021, as the pair fought for the second seat at Mercedes.

It’s the first-time the now Alfa Romeo F1 Team driver has spoken about Russell in a positive light, something which was unimaginable after their collision at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in 2021.

As well as being quick on-track, it appears that Russell has built a good relationship with his team-mate.

Bottas and Hamilton were known to get on very well, and continue to travel to races together on occasions.

Russell was questioned about his relationship with Hamilton by QC Magazine in March, where he explained that he’s aware his words may get “twisted”, to make it sound like he’s trying to steal “Lewis’ crown”.

“The fact is, Lewis and I have a good relationship,” said Russell.

“They’ll twist my words slightly to blurb a headline, such as me trying to take Lewis’ crown away or whatever.

“But I don’t feel like that. I’m in F1 because I want to be world champion, that’s obvious. And if I’m going to be world champion, I’ve got to beat everyone, Lewis included.”

With Hamilton beginning to close Russell down in the championship, it’s yet to be seen as to whether the pair’s “good relationship” will continue.

Should Russell finish above Hamilton in the World Championship this season, he will be the first team-mate to beat Hamilton since Nico Rosberg did in 2016.